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An afternoon in an old wood

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It’s been years since I shot a block of woodland , owned by a good friend , in February . Even more years since I posted on here. Saturdays in February normally see me on the foreshore most of the day making the most of what’s left of the fowling season, decoying pigeon on cover crops ( maize) or working. This year I decided I’d make a change and shoot a wood from dinner time onwards , as many pigeon shooters do locally (northwest england) and around the country. The game season over, leafs of the trees, it’s the tradition to try for a pigeon or two. Beaters who have put there time in on the shoots get there 4 weeks pigeon shooting as a “reward”, keepers have the time to pull the trigger rather than run the day and farmers have the time to take the gun out before the spring work begins. At the grand old age of 28 I’ve shot all my life from game shooting, fowling , inland duck and geese and decoying pigeon, but heading to the old wood got me more excited than I’d been for years. I’ve been lucky enough to shoot some big bags with a number of guns on February roost shoots over the years , but this Saturday saw me on my own with just the young pup at my feet .

February roost shooting-no equipment needed bar the gun and the dog, grand! On getting to the wood 2-300 pigeon lifted and I smiled to myself imagining them returning in dribs and drabs. A strong west wind bent the branches of the trees and gave a constant background noise while sending the pigeon away like grey bullets across the spud field up to the wood. Getting to a spot I hadn’t stood in for years, a fallen ash tree, I quickly took the gun out of the sleeve as the initial disturbance Normally gives chance of a shot. I didn’t have to wait long. A single high pigeon loomed over the tall trees and remembering the advice of the best shot I’ve ever known, I swung the gun like I was going to hit someone with it a pulled the trigger. He had always told me “ignore the branches, dont wait for easy ones, low ones or landing ones, get stuck in , swing the gun and keep pulling that trigger!” 
The old miruko trap gun choked full and extra full did the trick and the pigeon spiralled to the ground with a satisfying thud. Good start. The pup had jumped at the shot but didn’t run in.With encouragement she went out to investigate and returned with her first ever pigeon.Birds came every now and then throughout the afternoon and a good flush at roost time saw me take a couple of left and rights . Two boxes of RC sipe 5’s later and I’d 22 pigeon in the bag. 
looking forward to the next few Saturdays.

straight shooting .


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